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Ezra 4

The adversaries, being not accepted in the building of the Temple with the Jews, endeavour to hinder it.

Ezra 4:1 But the aduersaryes of Iuda and Beniamin hearde, that the children of the captiuite buylded the temple vnto the Lord God of Israel. Ezra 4:2 And they came to Zorobabel and to the principall fathers, and sayde vnto them: We will builde with you: for we seke the Lorde youre God lyke as ye do. And we haue done sacrifyce vnto hym, sence the tyme of Asor Hadon the kynge of Assur which brought vs vp hyther. Ezra 4:3 And Zorobabel and Iesua and the other auncient fathers of Israel sayde vnto them: It cannot be, that you and we together shuld buylde the house vnto our God: for we oure selues wyll buylde alone vnto the Lord our God of Israel, as Cyrus the king of Persia hath commaunded vs. Ezra 4:4 And it came to passe, that the folke of the land hyndered the people of Iuda, and troubled them as they were buyldynge, Ezra 4:5 and hyred councelers against them, to hynder their deuyce, as longe as Cyrus the kyng of Persia lyued, vntyll the raygne of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:6 And in the raygne of Ahasuerus, (euen in þe begynnyng of his raygne) wrote they vnto him a complaynte agaynst the inhabitours of Iuda and Ierusalem.

Their letter to Artaxerxes.

Ezra 4:7 And in the dayes of Arthaxerses, wrote Mithridath Tabeel and the other of hys councell, vnto Arthaxerses the king of Persia with fayre wordes. And the scripture of the letter was writen in the Sirians speach, and interpretated in the language of the Sirians Ezra 4:8 Rehum the recorder and Samsai the scribe wrote a letter from Ierusalem to Arthaxerses the kyng, as it foloweth. Ezra 4:9 Then Rehum the recorder, & Samsai the scribe, and other of their companye of Dina, of Arphasath, of Tarpla, of Persia, of Arach, of Babylon, of Susan, of Deha, of Elan, Ezra 4:10 & other of the people who the greate & noble Asnapar brought ouer, and sett in the cytes of Samaria, & other, that are now on this syde the water.

Ezra 4:11 Thys is the copye of the letter that they sent vnto kyng Artaxerses. Thy seruauntes, & the men that are now on thys syde the water. Ezra 4:12 Be it knowne vnto the king, that the Iewes which came vp from the to vs, are come vnto Ierusalem (a cytie sedicyous and frowarde) and buylde the same, and sett vp the walles therof, and laye the foundacions. Ezra 4:13 Be it knowne now also vnto the kynge, that yf this cytie be buylded, and the walles therof made vp agayne, then shall not they geue, tolle, tribute, and custome, and the kynges profyte shall incurre dammage. Ezra 4:14 And now in the meane season we haue destroyed the temple, and wolde no longer se the kynges dishonoure: Therfore sent we out also, and certifyed the kynge: Ezra 4:15 that it maye be sought in the boke of þe Chronycles of thy progenitours, and so shalt thou fynde in the booke of the Chronycles, and perceaue that this cytie is sedicious and noysome vnto kynges and landes, and that they cause other also among them to rebell of olde, & for the same cause was thys cytie destroyed. Ezra 4:16 Therfore do we certyfye the kynge that yf this cyte be buylded agayne, and the walles therof made vp, thou shalt herafter haue no porcion on this fyde the water.

The decree of Artaxerxes.

Ezra 4:17 Then sent the kyng a answere vnto Rehum the recorder, & Simsai the scribe, and to the other of theyr companyons that dwelt in Samaria, & vnto the other þt were beyonde the water, in Selan and Cheheth. Ezra 4:18 The letter which ye sent vnto vs, hath bene openly redd before me, Ezra 4:19 and I haue commaunded to make search: & it is founde, þt this cytie of olde hath made insurreccion agaynst kynges, and that rebellion and sedicion hath bene commytted therin. Ezra 4:20 There haue bene myghtie kinges also at Ierusalem, which haue raygned ouer all countrees beyonde the water: and tolle, trybute, & custome was geuen vnto them: Ezra 4:21 Geue ye now therfore commaundement, that the same men be forbydden, and that the cytie be not buylded agayne, tyll I haue geuen another commaundement. Ezra 4:22 Take hede now that ye be not negligent to do this: for why shulde þe kynge haue harme there thorowe?

The building is hindered.

Ezra 4:23 Now when the copye of kynge Artaxerses letter was red before Rehum and Simsai the Scribe and their companyons, they went vp in all the haste to Ierusalem vnto the Iewes, and forbad them with violence and power. Ezra 4:24 Then ceassed the worcke of the house of God at Ierusalem, and continued so vnto the seconde yere of Darius kynge of Persia.

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